JP4009568B2 - Device management system and device management method - Google Patents

Device management system and device management method Download PDF

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JP4009568B2
JP4009568B2 JP2003292487A JP2003292487A JP4009568B2 JP 4009568 B2 JP4009568 B2 JP 4009568B2 JP 2003292487 A JP2003292487 A JP 2003292487A JP 2003292487 A JP2003292487 A JP 2003292487A JP 4009568 B2 JP4009568 B2 JP 4009568B2
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image processing
authentication
identification data
user
registered
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JP2005063146A (en
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清志 堀
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京セラミタ株式会社
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  The present invention relates to a management system and a management method for an apparatus including an image processing apparatus that reads a document image, such as a digital copying machine, a facsimile machine, and a scanner, and performs predetermined processing on the read image data. The present invention relates to a management system and management method for devices connectable to a server.

  Currently, multifunctional image processing apparatuses are widely used in offices. In such an image processing apparatus, a user ID, a password, and a usable number are usually predetermined for each user (for each department), and the user performs image processing within the usable number by inputting the user ID and the password. The device can be used. However, it is very cumbersome and inconvenient to set user information for each apparatus due to an increase in the number of office personnel, the number of departments, and the increase in the number of image processing apparatuses associated therewith.

Accordingly, with recent enhancement of the network environment, there has been proposed one in which image processing apparatuses are collectively managed by a server connected via a network (see Patent Documents 1 to 3).
JP 10-31400 A JP 2000-20471 A JP 2002-171252 A

  In the above-described prior art, a device connected to a network can be used after user authentication is correctly performed by a server. However, when the user tries to use the device, the server cannot be connected because the server is not powered on or the cable for connecting the device to the network is disconnected. User authentication may not be performed correctly.

  On the other hand, depending on how the user uses the device, for example, in a copying operation, connection to a network may not be necessary. Even in such a case, the above-described conventional technology is inconvenient because the user cannot be authenticated by the server and the apparatus cannot be used.

  The present invention has been made based on such a technical background, and an object thereof is to provide an image processing apparatus and a management method thereof capable of reliably performing user authentication.

  In order to achieve the above object, the invention according to claim 1 is an image processing apparatus (1) capable of independently operating to perform image processing such as copying of a document or output of a printed image, and a target apparatus. Is used, an authentication server (2) for authenticating that the user is valid, and a communication means for transmitting data between the image processing apparatus and the authentication server ( 3), wherein the image processing apparatus inputs means for inputting user identification data (13, S2) and the inputted identification data to the authentication server via the communication means. Means for transmitting (11, S3), and the authentication server includes, for each target device, an authentication database (23) in which identification data of a user who can use the device is registered. The image processing apparatus via communication means In response to determining that the identification means is registered, and a determination means (22, S5) for determining whether or not the identification data transmitted from the registration is registered in the authentication database. Means (21, S5) for transmitting to the image processing apparatus via the means, and the image processing apparatus further receives the input when the authentication signal is transmitted from the authentication server. Means for registering identification data as temporary authentication identification data (15, S6), and when the authentication signal is not transmitted from the authentication server and the temporary authentication identification data is registered in the registration means, A device management system comprising temporary authentication means (12, S9) for authenticating identification data input using registered temporary authentication identification data.

  The alphanumeric characters in parentheses indicate corresponding components in the embodiments described later. The same applies hereinafter.

  According to the second aspect of the present invention, the authentication database (23) of the authentication server (2) includes, in addition to the identification data, the maximum usage amount that the user can use the target device and the usage amount up to the present time. Is registered, and the transmission means (21) of the authentication server, in addition to the authentication signal, allows the user calculated by the maximum usage amount and the usage amount up to the present to the image processing device (1). Residual usage data that can be used in the future is transmitted, and the image processing apparatus registers the residual usage data in registration means (15) in association with the temporary authentication identification data, so that the temporary authentication is performed. The device management system according to claim 1, wherein the means (12) limits the usage amount of each image processing apparatus by the user based on the remaining usage amount data (S11).

According to the third aspect of the present invention, an image processing apparatus that operates independently and can perform image processing such as copying of a document or output of a printed image, and a user when the target apparatus is used legitimate authentication server for authenticating the effect that, a management method in a device management system includes a communication unit, a for carrying out the transmission of data between the authentication server and the image processing apparatus, image processing When the user inputs identification data to use the apparatus, the identification data is transmitted to the authentication server by the communication means, the authentication server authenticates the identification data, and returns an authentication signal to the image processing apparatus by the communication means. If the, allowed to register the identification data that have undergone the authentication to the image processing apparatus, then, when the user no reply from has been input authentication server identification data to the image processing apparatus In the image processing apparatus, it is determined whether or not the registered identification data and the input identification data match, and if it is determined that they match, the image processing apparatus can be temporarily used. It is a management method characterized.

  According to the first and third aspects of the present invention, even when the connection between the image processing apparatus and the authentication server is not established and authentication by the authentication server is not performed, temporary authentication is performed in the image processing apparatus. Therefore, even if the image processing apparatus and the authentication server are not connected, the user can be reliably authenticated.

  According to the second aspect of the present invention, the image processing device limits the usage amount of the user based on the remaining usage amount data sent from the authentication server. Therefore, the use of the image processing device is appropriately restricted. be able to. The used amount is, for example, the number of sheets used, the number of sheets used is determined for each sheet size, or the number of sheets used is determined in each case of monochrome copying and color copying. There is. In addition, when the image processing apparatus is used as an apparatus that does not require paper, such as used as a data processing apparatus, the usage amount may be determined, for example, as the usage time.

Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic configuration of the image processing apparatus 1 and the server 2. The image processing apparatus 1 and the server 2 are connected via a network 3. An image processing apparatus 4 is also connected to the server 2 via the network 3. The image processing apparatus 1 includes a network interface (I / F) 11, a control unit 12, an operation unit 13, and a display unit 14. The control unit 12 includes a storage unit 15. The user ID and password input by the user operating the operation unit 13 are temporarily stored in the storage unit 15 and transmitted to the server 2 via the network interface (I / F) 11.

  The server 2 includes a network interface (I / F) 21 and a control unit 22, and the control unit 22 includes user information storage means 23. In the user information storage unit 23, user information is registered in advance for each target device, and as user information, a user ID, a password, a usable number, and a used number are registered. The usable number is the limit value of the number of used sheets for each user determined on the server 2 side, and the used number is the cumulative number of sheets used by the user so far. When the control unit 22 determines whether or not the information registered in the user information storage unit 23 matches the user ID and password transmitted from the image processing apparatus 1, and determines that they match. As will be described later, information indicating that the user authentication is correctly performed is transmitted to the image processing apparatus 1 again via the network interface (I / F) 21.

  When the information transmitted from the server 2 is input to the control unit 12 via the network interface (I / F) 11 of the image processing apparatus 1, the user ID and password temporarily stored in the storage unit 15. Are registered in the storage means 15 and the image processing apparatus 1 is enabled. If it is determined in the above-mentioned determination at the server 2 that they do not match, information indicating that authentication is not possible is transmitted from the server 2 and a predetermined message is displayed on the display unit 14 as will be described later.

  FIG. 2 is a flowchart showing a control operation in the image processing apparatus 1. First, the image processing apparatus 1 displays on the display unit 14 that the user ID and password are requested to be input (step S1). For example, when the operation unit 13 is operated by the user a and the user ID and password are input (YES in step S2), the input user ID and password are temporarily stored in the storage unit 15 and the network The data is transmitted to the server 2 via the interface (I / F) 11 (step S3).

  The control unit 22 of the server 2 includes user information storage means 23. The user information storage means 23 is divided for each target device as described above, and includes a user ID, a password, and a usable number of sheets. The number of sheets used is registered in advance. The user ID and password of the user a transmitted from the image processing apparatus 1 to the server 2 are input to the control unit 22 via the network interface (I / F) 21. When the information of the image processing apparatus 1 registered in the user information storage unit 23 includes information that matches the input user ID and password, the control unit 22 has performed the user authentication correctly. And the remaining usable number calculated from the usable number and the used number are transmitted to the image processing apparatus 1 via the network interface (I / F) 21 (YES in step S4). This remaining number of used sheets represents the number of used sheets that the user a can use the image processing apparatus 1 in the future.

  For example, if the usable number 1000 is registered as the user a information and the used number 250 is registered as the user a information in the user information storage unit 23, information that the remaining usable number is 750 is transmitted to the image processing apparatus 1. Will be. Note that the information indicating that the user authentication has been performed correctly is not transmitted, but only the information on the remaining usable number is transmitted to the image processing apparatus 1, and the information on the remaining usable number is transmitted. It may also serve as a fact that user authentication has been performed correctly.

  Information transmitted from the server 2 to the image processing apparatus 1 is input to the control unit 12 via the network interface (I / F) 11. In response to the information indicating that the user authentication is correctly performed being input to the control unit 12 (YES in step S5), the user ID and password temporarily stored in the storage unit 15 are stored in the storage unit 15. While being registered (step S6), the image processing apparatus 1 is set in a usable state within the remaining used number (step S7). The user ID and password registered at this time are used when the user a uses the image processing apparatus 1 later and there is no response from the server 2 as will be described later.

  That is, when the image processing apparatus 1 is used by the user a and the above-described steps S 1 → S 2 → S 3 → S 4 → S 5 → S 6 → S 7 are performed, the user ID and password of the user a are stored in the storage unit 15. Will be registered. The number of sheets used at this time is counted and transmitted to the server 2 via the network interface (I / F) 11. The count value transmitted from the image processing apparatus 1 is input to the control unit 22 via the network interface (I / F) 21. Based on the count value input to the control unit 22, the used number of users a registered in the user information storage unit 23 is rewritten.

  In the server 2, when the information registered in the user information storage unit 23 does not include information that matches the user ID and password of the user a input as described above, the user authentication is not correctly performed from the server 2. Information indicating that authentication is not possible (authentication is not possible) is transmitted to the image processing apparatus 1 and input to the control unit 12 via the network interface (I / F) 11 (NO in step S5). The user ID and password temporarily stored in the storage means 15 are erased according to the information that cannot be authenticated transmitted from the server 2, and an error such as “Use is not permitted” is displayed on the display unit 14. A message is displayed (step S8).

  Next, a case will be described in which there is no response from the server 2 (NO in step S4) because the server 2 is not turned on or the cable for connecting the image processing apparatus 1 to the network is disconnected.

  Since the operations in steps S1 → S2 → S3 are the same as described above, the description thereof is omitted. When the user a tries to use the image processing apparatus 1 but does not receive a response from the server 2 (NO in step S4), the user ID and password registered in the storage unit 15 in the image processing apparatus 1 and the user a The user ID and password input by the above are collated (step S9). When the user a has used the image processing apparatus 1 in the past, since the user ID and password of the user a are registered in the storage unit 15, the information registered in the image processing apparatus 1 and the input information Are matched (YES in step S10), and use of the image processing apparatus 1 is permitted. The number of sheets used at this time is preset, for example, up to 100 sheets (step S11). As a result, even when the connection between the image processing apparatus 1 and the server 2 cannot be established, the image processing apparatus 1 can be used.

  In a state where the image processing apparatus 1 is not connected to the server 2, the number of images used by the image processing apparatus 1 is not managed by the server 2. is there. Therefore, as in step S <b> 11, an upper limit on the number of sheets used by the image processing apparatus 1 in a state where it is not connected to the server 2 is determined in advance. Note that the upper limit of the number of used images of the image processing apparatus 1 is not limited to that described above, and may be any number according to the number of usable images registered in the user information storage unit 23 of the server 2. Further, the upper limit of the number of used images of the image processing apparatus 1 in a state where it is not connected to the server 2 is such that when the user ID and password are registered in the storage means 15 in step S6, the remaining used number is registered at the same time. The remaining number of used sheets may be adopted as the upper limit of the number of used sheets of the image processing apparatus 1 in a state where it is not connected to the server 2.

  The number of sheets used in step S11 is counted and temporarily stored as a count value in the storage means 15 (step S12). The count value is transmitted to the server 2 via the network interface (I / F) 11 when the image processing apparatus 1 is used later by another user or the like, when the connection to the server 2 becomes possible again. . The count value transmitted from the image processing apparatus 1 is input to the control unit 22 via the network interface (I / F) 21. Based on the count value input to the control unit 22, the used number of users a registered in the user information storage unit 23 is rewritten. Thereby, the image processing apparatus 1 can be used even when the connection between the image processing apparatus 1 and the server 2 is not established, and the use of the image processing apparatus 1 by the user can be managed reliably.

  In the above operation, when the user a has not used the image processing apparatus 1 in the past, the user ID and password of the user a are not registered in the storage unit 15. The information registered in 1 does not match the input information, and the use of the image processing apparatus 1 is not permitted (NO in step S10). Then, an error message “Use is not permitted” is displayed on the display unit 14 (step S13).

  It should be noted that the usable number and used number registered in the server 2 and the upper limit of the used number of the image processing apparatus 1 when not connected to the server 2 may be determined for each paper size, It may be determined in each case of monochrome copy and color copy. Further, the number of sheets is not adopted as a unit, and for example, a unit of time may be adopted and a usable time or a use time may be registered.

  In the conventional apparatus, when there is no response from the server 2, for example, the image processing apparatus 1 is used in a usage mode in which a network connection is not necessary for its use as in the case of using it as a digital copying machine. Even in such a case, the configuration cannot be used uniformly because there is no response from the server 2. On the other hand, in the present invention, as described above, even if there is no response from the server 2, it can be used for a user who has used the image processing apparatus 1 in the past. .

  In this embodiment, the management system in the server 2 and the image processing apparatus 1 has been described as an example. However, the server 2 includes not only the image processing apparatus 1 but also a plurality of image processing apparatuses in the same procedure as described above. It is managed at the same time.

  The present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above, and various modifications can be made within the scope of the claims.

It is a block diagram which shows schematic structure of an image processing apparatus and a server. 3 is a flowchart illustrating a control operation in the image processing apparatus.

Explanation of symbols

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 Image processing apparatus 2 Server 3 Network 11 Network interface 12 Control part 13 Operation part 15 Storage means 21 Network interface 22 Control part 23 User information storage means

Claims (3)

  1. An image processing apparatus that operates independently and can perform image processing such as copying of a document or output of a printed image;
    An authentication server for authenticating that the user is valid when the target device is used;
    A communication unit for transmitting data between the image processing apparatus and the authentication server, and a device management system comprising:
    The image processing apparatus includes:
    Means for entering user identification data;
    Means for transmitting the input identification data to the authentication server via the communication means,
    The authentication server is
    For each target device, an authentication database in which identification data of users who can use the device is registered, and
    Discriminating means for discriminating whether or not the identification data transmitted from the image processing apparatus via the communication means is registered in the authentication database;
    In response to determining that the determination means is registered, means for transmitting an authentication signal to the image processing device via the communication means,
    The image processing apparatus further includes a registration unit that registers the input identification data as temporary authentication identification data when the authentication signal is transmitted from an authentication server;
    When the authentication signal is not transmitted from the authentication server and the temporary authentication identification data is registered in the registration means, authentication of the identification data input using the registered temporary authentication identification data is performed. A device management system comprising temporary authentication means for performing
  2. In the authentication database of the authentication server, in addition to the identification data, the maximum usage amount that the user can use the target device and the usage amount up to now are registered,
    In addition to the authentication signal, the transmitting means of the authentication server transmits residual usage data that can be used by the user in the future based on the maximum usage amount and the current usage amount. Is what
    The image processing apparatus causes the registration unit to register the remaining usage data in association with the temporary authentication identification data,
    The apparatus management system according to claim 1, wherein the temporary authentication unit limits a usage amount for each image processing apparatus by a user based on the remaining usage amount data.
  3. An image processing apparatus that operates independently and can perform image processing such as copying of a document or output of a printed image;
    An authentication server for authenticating that the user is valid when the target device is used;
    A communication means for transmitting data between the image processing apparatus and the authentication server, and a management method in a device management system comprising:
    When the user inputs identification data to use the image processing apparatus, the identification data is transmitted to the authentication server by the communication means, the authentication server authenticates the identification data, and the authentication signal is transmitted to the image processing apparatus by the communication means. When the reply is made, the identification data subjected to the authentication is registered in the image processing apparatus, and then the user inputs the identification data to the image processing apparatus, but there is no reply from the authentication server, In the image processing apparatus, it is determined whether or not the registered identification data and the input identification data match, and if it is determined that they match, the image processing apparatus can be temporarily used. A characteristic management method.
JP2003292487A 2003-08-12 2003-08-12 Device management system and device management method Expired - Fee Related JP4009568B2 (en)

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